Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 9th 2016 Contents A59
Thursday, June 9, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Alastair Cook has called on the International
Cricket Council to institute mandatory life bans
for all proven match-fixers.
The England captain, who will lead his team at
Lord's today in pursuit of a 3-0 whitewash over Sri
Lanka in the Investec series, is highly likely to be
facing rehabilitated spot-fixer Mohammad Amir
back at HQ next month.
Amir has reportedly been granted a visa to return
to England, and has been picked by Pakistan for
this summer's four-Test tour.
The left-armer's presence in the first Test at
Lord's is sure to stir mixed feelings, at the venue
where he agreed to bowl no-balls to order for finan-
cial gain on Pakistan's 2010 tour---a crime for which
he was jailed and served a five-year ban from all
Co-conspirators Salman Butt and Mohammad
Asif will not be back.
Cook insisted he will welcome back Amir, who
has shown outstanding form since his return to
limited-overs action, but advocates no further leeway
for anyone who transgresses.
"He has served [his punishment], so I'm perfectly
happy for him to come back and play," said Cook,
who was the first of Amir's wickets on the way to
figures of six for 84 in that fateful Test six years
Samit Patel retains lofty ambitions of repre-
senting England across the spectrum, a notion
that may not be as fanciful as it might have
seemed 12 months ago.
While a batsman first and foremost, his pro-
ficient left-arm spin brought him back into the
international fold following a near three-year
absence for last winter's Test series against Pak-
Patel, though, was, and remains, behind Moeen
Ali and Adil Rashid in the pecking order and fea-
tured only in the final Test as part of a three-
man spin line-up, performing competently if
unspectacularly as England lost the series.
He was retained but unused for the South Africa
series that followed although any sense of frus-
tration has not been apparent after an invigorating
start to the Specsavers County Championship
An average of 45 with the bat, with five fifties
and one hundred, and 29.71 with the ball in seven
matches is impressive by anyone's standards and
will give the selectors a gentle nudge ahead of
this winter's tours to Bangladesh and India.
"I am feeling good at the minute, I am in a
decent place," he said.
"My international ambitions are still there in
all formats. I am going well with the ball, which
is important. It's going really well at the minute."
While there is every chance he will add to his
six Test caps this winter, Patel's hopes of reigniting
his limited-overs career appear slim with England
having moved on since his last one-day or Twen-
ty20 international appearance more than three
However, he earned platitudes up and down
the country for taking apart a strong Warwickshire
bowling unit with a counter-attacking 68-ball
century in the championship, eventually compiling
124 in an innings where the next highest score
He has as yet been unable to transfer his sen-
sational four-day form into the shorter formats
as he freely acknowledges.
"I have started off slowly with the bat in the
white-ball but I am happy and hopefully I can
turn things around," he added.
Patel targets recall
Cook wants life bans for match fixers
"But in my opinion, now, because it's become a
bit more prevalent [in the number of known cases,
the ICC should come out and say that if you are
caught match-fixing you are banned for life.
"That's what we should do to try and protect the
At a time when cricket faces tougher competition
than ever for a slice of the sports-viewing market,
Cook believes it cannot afford to be tolerant of those
who put it in peril.
"People want to be watching a genuine contest,"
I hope that's what people expect when they pay
their money to watch a game a cricket teams trying
to win rather than people trying to make easy money
on the side."
It is therefore crucial, he claims, that life bans are
"I just think if there's one way to try and deter
it, it is to have the biggest punishment possible---
you should be banned from cricket for life, and if
everyone knows that then it's very black-and-white,"
"You don't want something in the back of your
mind saying that doesn't feel right.' That's not what
sport is about."
England are set to field an unchanged team against
Sri Lanka following last week's series-sealing victory
at Chester-le-Street, preferring seamer Steven Finn
on his home ground to the uncapped Jake Ball.
Alastair Cook...wants match-
fixers banned for life.
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